Canterbury properties hit another high

New record for property sales

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 18:00 25/01/2014

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For the fourth time in a year, house prices have set a new record in Canterbury-Westland.

The Real Estate Institute says the median price of homes sold in the region last month was $395,000 - up 12.5 per cent from a year earlier. In Christchurch city it was $420,000, up from $379,000 a year earlier.

The figures showed 819 homes sold in Canterbury-Westland last month, of which 526 were in Christchurch. Sales in the region took a median of 27 days.

Institute director Tony McPherson said while some first homes had been sidelined by the new restrictions on low-deposit loans, investors were actively buying.

Quotable Value reported that during 2013, house values rose in Christchurch by close to 13 per cent to $455,264, with increases in surrounding districts of between 5 per cent and 12 per cent.

Listings website realestate.co.nz said the average Canterbury asking price on the site was $443,750.

Meanwhile in a report outlining his expectations for 2014, BNZ bank chief economist Tony Alexander said housing shortages in Christchurch and Auckland "would not be sufficiently addressed" this year, and rising immigration meant house prices would continue rising.

He expected the price gains will spread to the regions "at an uncertain pace" as the initial effects of the new mortgage deposit rules wore off.

On the interest rate front, "huge uncertainty" surrounded how people would react to the expected rise in floating mortgage rates. Alexander said rates could rise by 1.25 percentage points this year, and maybe another 1 percentage point next year as tightening of monetary policy got underway.

Median prices in other places according to the institute were: North Canterbury country $410,000, central Canterbury country $545,000, Mid-Canterbury $307,500, Timaru $275,250, South Canterbury country $244,000, West Coast $212,500, Dunedin $294,500, and Invercargill $199,000. The national median price for December was $427,000, also a record.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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